While flying can be supremely exciting — new places, new perspectives, new adventures — it can also be profoundly uncomfortable. One of the most common complaints about air travel has to do with its effect on the body. Travelers often experience swelling and bloating during flights, the latter of which is often known as “jet bloat.”
There’s no one answer to the question of why so many people experience this sensation on flights. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prevent and relieve bloating.
The change in air pressure may cause gases in your body to expand. Play it safe with your digestive system by avoiding carbonated drinks and fried, fatty foods.
Staying seated for many hours on end is also a sure-fire recipe for discomfort. Whether you are traveling by plane, train, or car, walk around a little bit every one to two hours can help prevent severe bloating.
Dehydration is another factor in general discomfort. Drink plenty of water, which will not only help with jet bloat, but it can also keep your skin and eyes from feeling dry and itchy. Water goes a long way here — drink it regularly throughout your flight and upon arrival. (Alcohol will not help you in this arena.) If more water means more bathroom breaks, it also means more moving around. That’s a win-win.
Eating right and sleeping right is difficult when on the wing, and especially across time zones, but it makes a world of a difference. Eating in moderation, and avoiding foods high in fat, salt, and acid, will help to keep you from feeling too bloated. Need a quick fix? Take probiotics while you travel, which can help keep your system working smoothly.